Otis F. Cooper

Article Summary:

Personal computer maintenance tips to help keep your system running smoothly.

PC Maintenance Tips

I have noticed that it seems as though my truck seems to run much better after I've cleaned it and removed all that dirt and mud. My truck actually doesn't run any better, but my attitude towards a clean truck is much better than when it was dirty.

A clean computer will cause you to have that same type of attitude but in this case, your computer will perform any task you command it to do much faster. Its very important to keep your computer's work area and the components of the computer itself clean. This applies to both inside and outside of the System Unit, Monitor, Printer, Keyboard and Mouse.

Always refer to the manual of the computer or component when you want to perform any preventive maintenance. Be certain to remove any and all Electrical Static Buildup from your body and clothes before working with components.

Preventive Maintenance Of The System Unit
The inside the the System Unit gathers dust over time and can become rather hot. Electrical charge inside the system unit attracts dust and keeps this dust on such components as the CPU and its Cooling Fan. Eventually this dust cause a heat buildup inside the case and shortens the life expectancy of the components.

Cleaning Of The System Unit
At Least Once A Year remove the system unit cover and use compressed air in a can to blow off dust from all Drives, Chips, Connectors and their Connections. Be sure to perform the same preventive maintenance on the Motherboard as well. Slightly tilt the system unit case in such a way as to blow bust from the top of the motherboard and then try to carefully do the same behind the board.

Over time dust buildup behind the motherboard can cause it to shorten out on the case itself. Never use a Nylon Brush or anything that may cause Static Electricity. ESD or electrical static buildup could easily damage your CMOS and other chips mounted on the board.

Preventive Maintenance Of The Mouse
If you notice that the cursor on the screen is rather sluggish or there seems to be a dead spot in your mouse, most likely your mouse is in need of cleaning. Follow these simple steps to clean the mouse after the PC is turned off and the mouse has been disconnected from the rear of the system unit:

  • Turn the mouse upside down and remove the plastic plate that holds the ball in its socket. Follow the direction of the arrow to remove the plastic plate. Use slight finger pressure when turning the plate.


  • Turn the mouse right side up and remove the ball from the socket. Clean the ball with mild soap and warm water. Do Not use alcohol since this will cause the rubber to dry and crack.


  • Clean the rollers in the socket with a link-free swab and alcohol. Turn the rollers with your finger to ensure all dirt has been removed.


  • Take a good look at the pins at the end of the mouse connector for bent,dirty, broken, or pins that may have been pushed in. Check the mouse connection on the back of the computer for any signs of wear and tear or any other type of damage.


  • After you've finish cleaning both the ball and ball cavity, place the ball inside the mouse and replace the plastic plate. Rotate and/or push the plate to lock it in place. Reconnect the mouse to the computer and turn the system on. The cursor on the screen should now move freely and smoothly. Be sure you have a clean mouse pad with no wet, cracked, or rough spots.

Otis F. Cooper is the author of the award winning PC Super Pack, the Computer Training By Video course. For hundreds more free PC repair tips,sign-up for his bi-monthly newsletter and learn computer repair at www.ultimate pc repair.com.

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